The Nameless Von


I owe Planescape Torment an apology. Whatever was going through my head the day I rejected it out of hand was a BadWrongThought of the lowest order. While there is a certain amount of grey/brown everything-is-shit going on so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed tooling around the Hive punching thugs in the face and looking for minor deeds to do while I make some sense out of it all.

I have deliberately chosen to avoid the Wiki and the strategy guide this time out. My obsessive double-checking in ref. Baldur’s Gate has, together with my familiarity with the game’s plot after (so many) aborted runs, robbed the exercise of much enjoyment, so I’m going in blind. I’m only using references when I flat out can’t find things (because the pathways to them are well hidden behind the game’s fixed perspective) or have totally forgotten where a quest-giver was (only happened once).

In the absence of any clue what’s going on, my Nameless One is a genteel but hard-headed bruiser (CON18, WIS16 with levelling bonuses, CHA14, everything else at 10), living up to his True Neutral alignment thus far and with a drive to establish what the fuck is going on, with the minimum of fuss and nonsense, and then die quietly. He also seems to be pulling a bit of a Night Haunter, insofar as he is trailing dead street thugs across the Hive and is quick to react to clear injustice, even if he drinks baatezu whiskey on his downtime.

Sigil seems pretty compelling so far, more out-and-out Fantastic than the faux-medievalisms I’m used to. The soundtrack is excellent and the variety of strange beasts and other sentients on the streets feels closer to Star Wars than the D&D norm. I also like the collection of characters and sketches present within the download, and will probably find a way to use them for something. I begin to see the appeal in this Sword and Planet stuff. I am however slightly perplexed at the priorities of the locals: there are a dozen harlots on any street but a man cannot purchase a shirt, let alone armour, anywhere. Shambling around in a skully codpiece with a +1 battleaxe may be the stuff of barbarian heroism but I like to think I’m a bit more civilised than that. Perhaps trousers will be forthcoming later in the affair. For now, I intend to sort out this weird display bug where an uncentred camera pursues the void in the top left of the screen and a centred one doesn’t always move the view around with my characters. It’s making the adventure quite awkward.

I shall doubtless return to this post for liveblogging purposes as the adventure continues. Stay tuned.

Author: Jon

Sententious, mercurial, and British as a bilious lord. Recovering Goth, lifelong spod. Former teacher and amateur machine politician, now freelance writer and early-career researcher.

15 thoughts on “The Nameless Von”

  1. I was sorry to see what happened due to Beamdog’s handling of the Baldurs Gate remakes and expansion, but this will always be a classic series of games.
    Planetscape Torment is prolly the most talkative game in the series, but it’s also the trippiest.

    1. Going back and inserting new content wasn’t the approach I’d have taken. Fix the glaring bugs, get things running on current operating systems, and leave well alone.

      I’m having fun with Planescape. The chatty stuff interspersed with random brawling seems to suit me.

  2. Further Adventures of the Nameless Von

    – I am now Neutral Good (which is… fitting) and the proud owner of some +2 punchy daggers (for more better punching)
    – I am also pretty sure that Scottish tiefling bird has a crush on me
    – The first signs of Imperfect Play have arrived, with some quests apparently being locked out. I am still resisting the urge to reroll and shuffle through a walkthrough. SOMETIMES YOU DON’T DO EVERYTHING AND THAT’S OKAY. STRIVING FOR PERFECT, WIKI-GUIDED PLAY IS WHAT RUINED BALDUR’S GATE FOR ME. I HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT. It is clear to me that I am not clicking on and talking to EVERYONE as exhaustively as I could or arguably should. Why can I not just PLAY FUCKING GAMES, that’s what I want to know? Am I a secret completist loon?
    – Many-As-One is a gobshite fight but I made it and feel quite chuffed.
    – All this AD&D has shaken my brain up and got me thinking about developments on Titan again. I also remembered that I own Dreams of Ruin and have been browsing it in the early mornings. Expect developments on that front.

    1. During my first playthrough I did not know Many as One could actually be killed and I had just assumed the rats would respawn indefinetely. That being said:

      1. Have you gotten yourself mazed yet?
      2. True death, have you found it?
      3. Caps lock on is the gentlemanly way to express frustration on the internet.
      4. stat point allocation and class plz.

      1. 1. I don’t think so.
        2. I don’t think so, although I did find my own tomb.
        3. Point.
        4. STR 10 DEX 10 CON 18 INT 10 WIS 16 CHA 14 Fighter lvl 6. (I went for high Wis because XP bonus and I wouldn’t mind dual-classing into Cleric if that becomes an option.)

    1. It’s summer time, or at least the sun is out and it’s not always raining. Computer games are for the soggy season when my joints flare up really badly. At the moment I am trying to enjoy conditions which favour mobility, while they last… but in the event of a wet weekend and no deadlines I shall make inroads upon Act 2.

      1. Harsh and short. I admire your sass per word ratio. I am extatic the wonders of modern medicine have endowed you with all the natural gifts of the lovely damsels of deepest, darkest Afriq.

        The Dutch government is rationing its heroin because of bad harvests, the evils of the regressive left and the war in afghanistan. What is a sprightly young lad to do but read planescape play reports?

        My brother purchased Spears of Dragonspear despite my vehement objections. Don’t make me review it in your comments sections.

        1. A great scholar – a Poet and Mathematician, who can be trusted in these matters – suggested that I talk too much. I have taken his advice to heart.

          “Spears of Dragonspear.” Is that actually a thing? Is that how titles work in the shadow of the Great Windmill?

          I’m not ‘making’ you do anything, O Prince. I may perchance suggest that a Prince review here would draw all nine of your adoring fans to my door rather than your own and damage your reach and penetration, but never MAKE…

          1. Correction issued fortwith; Baldurs Gate – Siege of Dragonspear.

            Dutch translations of english fantasy titles are inevitably silly and tend to sound retarded (I have read a dutch translation of Dune and all the sci fi stuff sounds childish and stupid), with the exceptions of Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye), which was translated as Oog des Meesters (the Eye of the Master), which sounds appropriately ominous (giving the player adequate warning that he is about to face the existential terror of playing a game where you resolve skills by rolling a d20 3 times).

            I’d dread to peruse the shelves of my local gaming store and discover such lofty titles as Landschap der Werelden, Geboorterecht, Padvinder, Spreukdringer, de Vergeten Rijken (that one does sound neat), GrijsHavik, Magier; de Ontwaking and Vampier; de Maskerade.

            You shall never have my fans. NEVER.

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